Tha Sports Junkies 101

Time to Sell: Three teams who need to focus on the future

Time to Sell: Three teams who need to focus on the future Sergei ~ 5of7 via Flickr


The All-Star break in the NHL is the benchmark point of the season for many teams. This is the time where teams decide, via a trade or trades, to go for it all and make a run at the Stanley Cup, or have a fire sale as they rebuild for the future.

With the March 1 trade deadline approaching, here are three teams that should sell:

1. Colorado Avalanche: On paper, the Avalanche should not be this bad of a hockey team. With offensive talent like Matt Duchene, Gabriel Landeskog, and Nathan MacKinnon, a good mix of young talent and veteran presence defensively, and a goaltender in Semyon Varlarmov that has proven that he can be consistent, it was a thought that the Avs could make a serious playoff push this season. Unfortunately, the offense hasn’t been prolific, and the defense, along with the goaltending, has struggled mightily, putting the Avs in sole possession of last place in the league. Jarome Iginla’s name has been a hot one in trade rumors as he looks to grab a Stanley Cup before he ends his career. There have also been whispers that Colorado would deal either Duchene, Landeskog or MacKinnon for a defensive prospect, but it could be more beneficial if they are able to pick up goaltending if they were to deal one of those three.

2. Arizona Coyotes: Its been somewhat of a disappointing season in the desert. A team that stayed around the bottom half of the playoff race last season, the Coyotes seemed to have taken a step back. While the integration of the youth into the everyday lineup can be contributed to the lack of wins, it has definitely not been the season many had thought it would be for the Desert Dogs. Martin Hanzal is a guy that could be dealt, as he is in the last year of his contract and has not produced up the middle like the Coyotes thought he would when he was taken 17th overall in 2005. Radim Vrbata has produced a lot better than expected when he was brought back (35 points through 51 games), and he could be a part of a contender to pepper in veteran scoring for a younger team. Shane Doan is also on the market, as he is likely to retire at the end of this season. While his off-ice and leadership skills are invaluable, his play on the ice has diminished significantly and would be a fourth-liner who may be healthy scratched periodically. If the Coyotes are going to deal, they need to look for another outstanding player on the back end, or a goaltending prospect. Unfortunately, the assets the team is selling may not fetch too much potential in return.

3. Detroit Red Wings: The Red Wings’ 25-year playoff streak is extremely impressive. It is a streak that is older than many living organisms on this planet, but it is in grave danger of being broken. While only five points out of a playoff spot, the Wings are currently in a three-way tie for last place in the Eastern Conference. Detroit is a team that has aging stars and disappointing players that have failed to reach their potential, both categories the Wings have put too much money into. Henrik Zetterberg could be on the block, but he earns $6.08 million over the next four years past this season, and at age 36, it is a contract that will scare away many potential suitors. Thomas Vanek fits the rental player role perfectly, as his contract expires at the end of the season. Vanek has produced 33 points in 41 games this season to lead the Red Wings in points, and he could be a perfect fit on a team looking for secondary scoring. Detroit currently has a cap hit of $79.3 million, and with a large portion of that money being allocated to veteran players, it may be best to take whatever the Red Wings can get to free up cap space and avoid a total rebuilding period.